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There is no question that sales is and will remain the most important instrument when it comes to (digital) growth. This applies both to high-tech startups and to established industrial companies. However, the teams in the organizations face a difficult task: Rethink! And especially in a crisis, that means going an extra mile for each individual. Even if we literally have to stay at home in times of Coronavirus.

Sure, real growth can hardly be realized at the moment. And with a view to an impending recession, the gold digger mood of the past few years is over. Still, that’s no reason to stick your head in the sand. But on the contrary, as the former German national soccer coach Josef “Sepp” Herberger wisely recognized in the last century: “After the game is before the game!”

This is due to the situation at a medium-sized family business a few years ago. At that time there was of course no other pandemic, but the company itself suffered a severe crisis that year. The team was therefore not very pleased with the digitalization of sales. Everyone was under personal pressure to experience. And in a situation where the focus is on the things that are.

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With the management, we then invested a lot of time in discussions with the various sales directors worldwide. The first step was to remove blocking beliefs and raise awareness of digital sales opportunities. This is by no means an easy task since the personal requirements were very different. But it is worthwhile work to start the important rethinking process.

We actually sat down with each individual and developed personal coaching program — by the way, both face to face and via video conference. I still remember exactly how we introduced new processes and digital tools… and then realized the first quick wins directly in front of the computer. Then as now it was clear to me once again:

“You always have to be ready to get your hands dirty if you want to motivate other people to rethink.”

In the end we were successful with this attitude. The sales directors have passed on their knowledge to their teams, thus ensuring optimal added value. A positive “side effect” was that our approach triggered a whole new sense of belonging in the company. Working together became transparent and everyone supported each other in the team.

The economic result was also impressive: an increase in sales of 21.6% within 12 months. Which of course subsequently became a challenge for production. But this story is definitely worth its own article.

It was a great human enrichment for me that we all walked the path together. And it always fills me with pride to see that people are ready to rethink and thus release unexpected powers.

A prerequisite for this is of course your own willingness to rethink. But also the trust of the management and executives in their teams.

Incidentally, this applies more than ever in times of crisis.

What now?

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Stay safe!
Mike Flache

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Mike Flache

Mike Flache

Mike Flache is an entrepreneur, philanthropist and advisor to Fortune 500 companies and startups. Together with talented teams, he builds digital businesses worldwide. The analysts of Onalytica voted him as one of the top-10 global influencers in the field of digital transformation.

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